Drishyam 2 is brilliant, not to be missed

Ajay Devgn, Shriya Saran, Ishita Dutta and Mrunal Jadhav form the Salgaonkar family in Drishyam 2. Photo: Universal Communications

When Drishyam released in 2015, it was a virtually frame-to-frame copy of the Malayalam original with the same title. It’s sequel in Malayalam, Drishyam 2, was released in 2021. We now have a remake of this sequel, with changes made so that it not a frame-to-frame remake. South remakes, circa 2022, are barely hot property, whether very well-made (Vikram Vedha, Jersey, Mili) or of lesser caliber (Good Luck Jerry, Cuttputlli, Hit—The First Case). But judging by viewers’ response in the movie hall, this film is set to be a wonderful exception!

For one, this is a true sequel, wherein the story continues. And the most riveting part is that when we saw Part 1, we never could imagine a sequel to what looked like a brilliant story that saw closure. In the second part, just like the police do on-screen, writer Jeethu Joseph, also the director in Malayalam, re-opened the case and brought out a superlatively ingenious angle.

Part 1 saw us rooting for Vijay Salgaonkar (in the Hindi version), the hero and a cable operator by profession, as he takes up cudgels for his family and coolly faces the cops when the errant son of cop Meera (Tabu) and her husband Mahesh (Rajat Kapoor) tries to blackmail his daughter Anju (Ishita Dutta) and is killed by mistake. How Vijay and family faced the vengeful cops and the body was ingeniously disposed of formed the crux of one of the best thrillers in the last 10 years.

But now, the sequel actually goes one better, or ‘two better’, when we consider that it is even more effective and hard-hitting vis-à-vis even the original Malayalam sequel! An intrepid cop, Tarun Ahlawat (Akshaye Khanna) is the new Inspector-General of Goa (where the film is placed) and, being made aware of the case, decides to investigate it seven years after it happened. He has the backing of the dead boy’s parents, who have since moved to London, but come back every year, as Meera has not really given up hope of avenging her son.

In fact, the cop suspended in the original story, Gaitonde (Kamlesh Sawant) is also summoned from a seven-year suspension and also has a deep grudge against Vijay and his family. A piece of good luck leads to the discovery of the body as well.

But by now, Vijay is also the owner of a movie theatre and plans to turn film producer. And these facts, along with his dogged visionary nature that is the result of watching endless films, are connected to how he again outwits the cops.

The script is racy and the first half is electric with its sense of foreboding of evil. Twists come here as well, but it is the second half, though marginally elongated, that provides the real drama and thrills and draws applause from the viewers, who have not forgotten the characters, especially the Salgaonkars. As the police dragnet begins to inexorably close on Vijay, we deeply feel for him, considering why he had to resort to what he did.

The solution is as twisted and cheering as possible, and highlights how, yet (any number of ‘yet’s, actually!) again, the South has led the Indian film industry in sheer entertainment mixed with originality and innovation.

Ajay Devgn is deeply entrenched in his character of Vijay, and his low-key determination that comes from his passionate desire to look after his family is superb. Shriya Saran (wife Nandini), Ishita Dutta and Maya Jadhav (daughter Anu) form the three apples of his eye, and acquit (no pun intended!) themselves well. Akshaye Khanna as the menacing IG is as good as always, and Kamlesh Sawant as Gaitonde is, vis-à-vis the original, understated but efficient. From the rest of the cast, all of whom do well or better, the standout performance yet again comes from Tabu. As a blend of a deeply-scarred mother and a ruthless cop, she is magnificent, especially in her facial expressions that register hurt, anger and vengeance.

Technically, the film is a visual feast within the locations of Goa as well as indoors (Sudhir Kumar Chaudhary is the DOP, while Tarpan Shrivastava is the production designer). The background music by Devi Sri Prasad is brilliantly mood-inducing, while his songs are alright.

Do not miss this one for its sheer atmosphere and inventiveness. It is a surefire winner and director Abhishek Pathak deserves multiple accolades.


T-Series Films & Panorama Studios present Drishyam 2 Produced by: Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Kumar Mangat Pathak & Abhishek Pathak Directed by: Abhishek Pathak Written by: Jeethu Joseph & Aamil Keeyan Khan Music: Devi Sri Prasad Starring: Ajay Devgn, Tabu, Akshaye Khanna, Shriya Saran, Ishita Dutta, Rajat Kapur, Mrunal Jadhav, Saurabh Shukla, Rajat Kapoor, Kamlesh Sawant, Aamil Keeyan Khan, Neha Joshi, Siddharth Bodke, Sameer Deshpande, Nishant Singh, Yogesh Soman, Sharad Butadiya & others



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